Monday, April 2, 2012


The film opens and we see two kids- a little boy and his pre-teen sister running together emerging from darkness of hazy city lights of night. They pose in front of camera and we heard their whispering tones- ‘Are you afraid?’ said she to her kid brother. ‘No, I’m not’ replied the boy. Suddenly crossing the road they reach towards a train station. Camera remains steady for moments and then it slowly follows them. The train arrives but they remain standing still. We heard the remarks of one of the daily wager man on platform, ‘You’re here again! But why do you come here every night?’ The train stops at the platform, both of them keep watching it for a moment or two. Before they enter into train, the door shut down and the train starts moving ahead. Both kids remain standing still on the platform and the train passes away.  

With this very first scene of the film, it let you suck into the journey that follows in the film. I won’t ruin the film by narrating its plot but trying to share only my reflections about this masterpiece. In the following of the film we witness these two innocent protagonists who’re stepping into the world, discovering and experiencing the life lessons full of light and the darkness. They keep witnessing the hard truths and disturbing lies of life and what it shares with us is the introspective reactions that move us into something so abstract to define! What a poise, maturity and positive spirit of film making! As soon as I finish the film, I feel like giving a long hug to Theo Angelopoulos for gifting such a beautiful and rich film to witness. It’s so sad that the maker of such a sincere and touching film died in an accident early this year. 

My god what a controlled expressions of visuals this man had; like he knew damn well when to keep camera exactly still and when to make it move and how much. The use of camera is poetry to experience. Watch the film to feel the effects that also captured the stunning and evocative visuals. That dying horse scene where we witness the juxtaposed human emotions in foreground and background, that long controlled pause of frames where we witness the innocence of the girl is robbed (it literally made my eyes wet), that gigantic sculpture hand floating from the sea to sky reminding me Fellini’s opening of ‘La Dolce Vita’ and that last tree frame after heartbreaking farewell scene…all with equally soothing company of background score. There are moments where it demands the patience from audience but that patience is worth every fraction of moment for something so sublime like this. This is the cinema worth having original DVD in collection without even watching its price tag.

Highly recommend is the understatement for films like this. 

P.S.- Certain frames of the film reminds me another moving cinema- ‘Grave of Fireflies’; an absolutely masterpiece of Japanese animation. What a queer surprise that the film also released the same year, and its also the same year that gave us another brilliant film where the child’s POV remains central to cinema… ‘Cinema Paradiso’. Isn’t that something so fascinating about the year itself to ponder about?  

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